Winter activities are in a lull waiting on Mother Nature to cooperate.
The unseasonably warm winter temperatures in the Geneva Lake area have forced activity dates to be pushed back and caused widespread disappointment, as plans have had to be canceled or rescheduled. The loss of tourism revenue is a concern for area resorts, hotels, restaurants, and this affects the entire community in many ways. The Ice Castle has been the biggest activity to take a hit, as it was already moved from the Riviera Beach to Geneva National, causing a drop in visitors, as compared to the year before.
The downtown of the City of Lake Geneva area has been hurt in a big way. Now, with the progress of the castle being seriously delayed by the unseasonably warm weather, many businesses are feeling the impact. The Ridge Resort is still planning on providing additional attractions to coincide with the Ice Castle, which will include an ice bar, ice-skating, and other outdoor frozen fun, but the weather has delayed these activities, as well.
The next big event is WinterFest and the US National Snow Sculpting Competition in Lake Geneva. This is a big year for the event, as this is the twenty-fifth year Lake Geneva has hosted this national sculpting competition. Visit Lake Geneva is planning and prepping to bring additional excitement to the Winterfest event. Bethany Souza, the newest member of Visit, is helping things along by bringing new ideas to the table. Let’s hope Mother Nature gets on board and ushers in the cold.
The finance, license, and regulation meeting took place last Tuesday night.
FLR’s main topic of discussion was city parking, including what kind of kiosks to purchase, how many would be needed and awarding a bid for that purchase. The coming and hoped for increase to prime parking space charges was also discussed, and possible recommendations on all these issues will be made and then sent over to the city council for final consideration and decision. Both the kiosk purchase and the possible increase to rate issues have been hot topics for some time, as parking is a huge source of revenue for the city. The city has discussed the need for increasing the city’s overall annual budget by one hundred and forty thousand dollars, and a parking rate increase is one possibility for helping that to happen.
The idea of bringing more revenue in, by increasing the parking rates has been and continues to be, a highly contentious and inflammatory idea. Sylvia Mullally (Lake Geneva Parking Manager) has repeatedly voiced concerns about the technological updates needed to maintain the current kiosks. Maybe city officials are starting to listen? This next meeting of the finance, license, and regulation may be the first definitive step in sending recommendations to move this issue from the plan commission up to the council for action and implementation.
Business of the Week